Department of Consular Affairs goes digital with e-passports and more

Picture courtesy of Pattaya News.

The Department of Consular Affairs made a giant leap into the future, with its transformation into a digital department this year. This significant change involves the integration of advanced technology and artificial intelligence (AI) into its daily operations, demonstrated by the introduction of contemporary icons and an array of improved e-consular services.

The cornerstone of this digital metamorphosis lies in the e-passport system. This innovative technology collects biometric data such as facial images, fingerprints and iris scans, and complies with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The e-visa system, a digital platform for visa applications, is currently operational in 38 offices spread across 23 countries spanning Europe, North America, and Asia. The system is primed for expansion in early 2024. This progression is projected to include 11 more offices in nine countries and will offer support for an additional 15 languages.

In a move to streamline operations, the department has also launched e-legalization. This is an electronic document certification system that permits users to monitor the status of their documents for international use. It is designed with hologram stickers to prevent forgery.

E-help is another crucial digital service introduced by the Department of Consular Affairs. This online system is devised to provide assistance and evacuate Thai citizens in situations of violence or natural disasters across the globe.

The department has also developed an e-complaint system, which is designed to receive a variety of complaints online. This system is interconnected with the government’s central complaint centre to ensure prompt and thorough resolutions.

Mobile application

In a bid to enhance accessibility, the department has launched a Thai consular mobile application. This offers a wide range of consular information and services, including an emergency SOS system, internet calls, automated Q&A, and embassy location services. All of these services are accessible via fingerprint authentication.

The Consular Index is a comprehensive collection of statistical data on global consular activities. This data aids in effective budget allocation. The Overseas Voting Monitoring System (OVMS) is designed to ensure that embassies conduct elections in compliance with regulations. It offers real-time tracking of election statuses and supports remote voting.

The e-consular manual is another crucial digital tool introduced by the department. It serves as a comprehensive knowledge base for consular officers across the globe, facilitating quick access to information and communication with the central office.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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